Monsters Blanked by IceHogs

ROCKFORD, IL – In the fifth of eight meetings between the two teams this season, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters were defeated by the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL by a final score of 5-0. With the loss, the Monsters fell to 31-18-5-5 overall this season and with a .610 points percentage, remain alone in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

After a scoreless opening period, Rockford rattled off four second-frame goals, from Bryan Bickell at 1:22 and P.C. Labrie at 6:49 at even-strength, from Mark McNeill at 12:08 on the power-play, along with a five-on-five Tanner Kero marker at 12:50, to make it 4-0 heading into the third. The final frame’s lone tally was provided in transition at even-strength by Labrie at 16:45 and established Rockford’s final margin of victory at 5-0.

The IceHogs chased Monsters starter and reigning CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month Brad Thiessen from the Lake Erie net following the second period after Rockford netted four goals on 18 pucks faced over that span, while Monsters’ net-minder Anton Forsberg stopped five of the six third period ‘Hogs shots he faced. Meanwhile, Rockford goaltender Michael Leighton turned aside each of the 35 Lake Erie shots he saw on Saturday to notch his fifth shutout of the season and register his 46th-career AHL shutout to claim the league’s all-time career shutout record, a mark he previously shared with Cleveland Barons legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower.

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Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Sunday rematch vs. the IceHogs with full coverage, live from Rockford’s BMO Harris Bank Center, underway at 5:00 pm on ESPN 850 WKNR and the Monsters Hockey Network.